01687 462242

Knoydart Community Hall, 6pm

Attending: Davie Newton, Richard Williams, Kristy Brown, Corinna Calder, Tom Dalziel, Tom Harris, Margaret Aldington, Frank Atherley, Ian Robertson, Jacqui Wallace, Helen Evemy, Trish Birch, Calum Wilson, Sara Donald, Danny Gorman, Finlay Greig, Angie Rupp, Reagan Nunn

Apologies:  Denise Atherley

Declarations of Interest: None

Minutes of Previous Meetings inc. single item agenda meetings

March Board Meeting minutes- Amendment- to buy a new printer, not second hand. – Approved.

Matters arising

Matters arising and actions from Last Meeting

  • Picture of curing shed- ongoing
  • Set down area at Milburn- complete.
  • Sarah role/ New office position- ongoing
  • Minutes to be sent to Calum and Sarah- ongoing.

Updates

  1. Knoydart Trading Update- DN- Meeting last week. Discussion about donation to KF with auditor. Profit £19K last year, auditor suggests £33K donation to remove tax liability. There is a £6K legacy loan between KF and KT to do with land management, KT will donate £33K including this £6K so £27K cash. Moving forward KT will retain a 3-month working capital in the bank to cover salaries, cash flow and a maintenance budget.
  2. KRL update- Written Report Available (operations). Undergrounding has begun, contractor onsite. Had full quarterly meeting last week. Working on finalising last year’s accounts and aim to have them finalised and tax paid by September. Reviewed new monthly management accounts, making progress with these. Reviewing electricity tariffs this is ongoing. Discussing KRL making donation to KF also ongoing.
  3. Foundation Office update- Meeting to discuss tasks that they have taken back from Amber:  POs stopped now just bills to pay, invoices are uploaded, reconciling of the bills could also be brought back in house. Bill payment is now more efficient. Batch payments- have cut out 10 step process and now only paid at bank and match on Xero. Petty cash changed to stop as much Interco transactions. Shop closure reports- have reduced unnecessary work. Credit card payments- reducing work here also.
  4. Land management update- Tidying up NRF loose ends and uploading species records. Budget will be tight. Blackhill’s NRF final report will circulate once they are happy with it. No response yet but expecting it to be paid this week. Previously claimed VAT will be deduced from this final payment. Recruitment project for FIRNS project has started. Likely to be someone off Knoydart as this is a specialised project.
  5. Ranger update- Xero camping bookings equal to last year, tours slightly down but about to agree 16 tours through the lord of the glen and others with wilder ways. Busy start regarding events, many more planned. Costa has hit the ground running; his role is funded by Nature Scot. Genny Shed update- moving slowly for some period. So far removed renewables equipment, floor etc. Delay due to building control and floor not being brought down far enough also shortage of labour and skill to do the work. Next steps- agree final ramp design, send off final sketches to building control for approval, put in door and window, remove plinth, and put in ramp and interior fittings. Had £25,000 of funding only spent £5,400 so far so still have just short of £20,000 remaining to do the rest.

DN- KRL have decided to put another door in the front which is a recent change but makes the ramp easier.

The issue with the plinth is the surface at the top, there is not enough depth to put concrete on and needs a smoother surface.

Items for decision/recording

  • Update to lease for farm- Has been written up and signed by Davie, just waiting to be signed by farm directors.
  • Update on pink borrow pit plots (director discussion after meeting)- DN had meeting with proposers on Saturday. After the directors meeting the responses will go out to community.
  • New Member Requests-Ben and Jenny Ruddle- Agreed.

Reports

  • Accommodation Project Officer Report- Written Report Available.

Council tax issue of 200% charge- when KF first bought the property, it wasn’t registered as empty. It is now being charged as a holiday let. Looking to resolve this currently.

RW- revised quote £930K from Skye contractors, grant of £560K with some already spent. £350-400K funding gap. To clarify are you hoping HIE will be able to fund all of that or the Scottish government. Also, there is a time pressure from the funder and contractor.

SD- HIE- Because this has a commercial aspect to it they can fund it. The quote from John Strachan was £750K. Not sure if they can fund it, discussing this with HIE currently. Qn that has been raised a few times, is there short fall in funding and can we fund it. No definitive answer on this yet. But now have a number to talk to HIE and Scottish Government about.

DN-Also need to see what is accessible to KF via mortgages, in process of exploring this for this project and Millburn and future funding requirements. We have just finished a long-term mortgage so there is some potential there but need to consider the wider financial situation.

SD- What funding we use if it is not public will depend on what we can do with the building to replace those funds.

AP- DN and Sarah to meet to discuss next steps and income stream for the building.

Items for discussion

  1. Finance future outline. Three Chairs Meeting- Discussing future finance arrangements of the 3 companies and making best use of income and resources- will write this up. Main points of discussion were good management at the office, access to mortgages, donations from the 2 companies, access to reserves, KRL building up a reserve over 25 years for renewal scheme, future input of FIRNS. Coming together, planning for a wealth fund. Aiming for another finance meeting for staff/ community? in June. Looking for a financial consultant for a better outline of how it can be done.
  2. Recruitment – operations role. Ongoing- will be finished this month- Sarah coming on board.
  3. Legal representation- Jim, Davie, Sarah having a meeting with John Leyshon tomorrow for items that are outstanding with him.

 AOB

  • Playpark- Yasmine. Proposal last year, went to consultation and was okayed on basis that it wasn’t a foundation liability. Next step- group that are doing it to move it forward and reassure KF that there is no contingent liabilities to the foundation.

Date of next meeting: 13.05.2024 @6pm in Hall.